Program Overview

The Technical High Angle Rope Rescue Program consists of five courses:
  • Awareness
  • Operations
  • Technician
  • Fire Service Instructor - Level I
  • Industrial/High Angle Rope Rescue
The rope rescue-training program is very rigorous. Candidates must be capable of daily physical exertion for extended periods of time. Upon completion of this program candidates are qualified to deliver the training in-house to members of their own fire department.

Once a Fire Department has qualified to be a member of the funded program the cost of the courses, plus the cost of staff replacement to send personnel for training, is reimbursed following successful completion of each course. Some reimbursement for travel, accommodation, and meal expenses are allowed. (Please refer to the current Operating Guidelines for more information on expense reimbursement).

Approval of replacement trainers is not automatic. The trainer being replaced must be approved by the steering committee and funded by the program with an agreement that they will participate as an instructor in the program for least three years.

Applications for reimbursement and equipment packages for Fire Departments that have made application and received approval from the Rope Rescue Steering Committee to enter the Program can be located in the Operational Guidelines. The Courses in the program consist of the following components:

Awareness (3 days)
This course standardizes embankment rescue and provides the foundation skills for students who would like to move into the operations and technician level courses. The course includes: ropes and knots, equipment familiarization, basic anchoring and rigging systems, rappelling, patient packaging and low angle/embankment rescue scenarios. The course consists of both classroom and field instruction. Students will be given a written and practical evaluation. Successful candidates will be certified to low angle (less than 45º) technical rope rescue. This course is in conformance with NFPA 1006 and 1670.

Operations (4 days)
The operations level includes team-building roles and responsibilities, ascending and descending, line transfers, victim packaging, lowering systems, mechanical advantage systems, raising systems and team scenarios. Students will operate as an integral part of a team environment and will be directed and monitored by instructors acting as team leaders. Students are given written and practical evaluations. This course is in conformance with NFPA 1006 and 1670.

Technician (4 days)
The technician level requires students to demonstrate skills, knowledge and techniques for hazard recognition, equipment use, and procedures necessary to safely and effectively coordinate, perform and supervise a technical rescue incident in the high angle (greater than 45º) environment. The course consists mainly of field instruction and includes advanced anchoring systems, compound/complex mechanical advantage systems, line transfers, knot passing, highline and a variety of technical scenarios. Students are given written and practical evaluations. This course is in conformance with NFPA 1006 and 1670.

To become an instructor of rope rescue the following requirements must be met:
  • NFPA 1041 - Fire Service Instructor, Level 1, or
  • JIBC, Fire and Safety Division Training Officer 1 & 2 Certificate Course (old program), or
  • BC Instructor's Diploma, or
  • Other equivalencies as accepted by the Technical High Angle Rope Rescue Steering Committee
Industrial/High Angle
This three-day course includes a review of tower crane components, technical rescue equipment and systems. Training occurs mostly in the field and consists of a variety of scenarios upon which practical evaluations are based.

Fire departments accepted into the program are eligible to receive one or more standard rope rescue equipment packages, to a value of approximately $10,000 each. A suggested standard equipment list has been developed. Following the completion of training of an instructor in all five courses, an Application for Initial Purchase and Reimbursement of Authorized Equipment Package(s) may be submitted for payment.

Manuals are provided to each instructor candidate enrolled in the Program. These manuals are to be used to conduct Industrial/High Angle Rope Rescue training as a certified instructor.

Application to the Program
To make application for acceptance into the program, a letter from the Fire Chief or City Manager is required which addresses the following:
  • Specialized rescue, such as high angle high angle rope rescue, falls within the fire department's mandated level of service.
  • The department has sufficient full time staff to provide and maintain an effective industrial technical high angle high angle rope rescue service.
  • There is a sufficient industrial base within the jurisdiction where high angle high angle rope rescue may be required, such as from the construction, operations or maintenance of high rise buildings, bridges, cranes, stacks, silos, etc.
The application letter should also state the number of rope rescue equipment packages and trainers needed. A fire department may choose to send more than their allotted number of instructors to the program for training, however, funding extends only to those pre-approved for funding.

Application for admission into the Program should be directed to Cathy Lange & Associates, #219 - 720 Sixth Street, New Westminster, BC V3L 3C5

Ongoing Support
In addition to initial "start-up" funding:
  1. Participating Fire Departments will receive an annual stipend to assist in the purchase of replacement rope rescue equipment. To qualify for the stipend Departments must meet certain criteria including the submission of an annual activity report form.
  2. Funding is available for replacement instructors for those staff retiring, promoted, ill, or otherwise no longer able to continue in the program.
Request by Industry for a Fire Department to Potentially Command a Rescue
Any employer operating within the jurisdiction that has a Fire Department participating in the funded program may submit an application for Industrial Rescue Service to that Fire Department. A Rope Rescue Instructor from that fire department will visit the work site and detail the conditions under which the Fire Department would agree to command a rescue. These general conditions would be on the application.

When a construction company requests an application for rescue service from participating Fire Departments, the company will complete the form and return it with a site plan showing the construction area, crane location, potential hazards, access, and staging area for fire apparatus, and any other information required by the Fire Department relevant to rescue. Upon review of a completed application, a Fire Department representative will sign the application and return a copy to the construction company. Fire Departments should familiarize themselves with the work site and may suggest special conditions to be observed by the construction company. These special conditions may be entered onto the form by an authorized Fire Department representative and must be observed by the construction company.

Annual Statistical Records
Participating Fire Departments agree to submit an annual report to Cathy Lange & Associates, for forwarding to the Technical High Angle Rope Rescue Steering Committee. This report documents the number of industrial and other rescues performed during the calendar year and the hours of rope rescue training conducted.

Life of the Program
The program was reviewed by all participating stakeholders in the fifth year of the program to determine the necessity of continued support. Budget approval was received late 1999 for the years 2000 to 2004, and again in 2005 for 2005-2009.

Operating Guidelines
The Technical High Angle Rope Rescue Program is conducted within the parameters of a series of Operating Guidelines that are reviewed and amended annually or as required at the direction of the Technical High Angle Rope Rescue Steering Committee.

Please direct inquiries regarding this program to:

Cathy Lange & Associates
Cathy Lange B.G.S
#219 - 720 Sixth Street
New Westminster, BC
V3L 3C5
Cell: (604) 315-3722
Fax: (604) 526-3579
Email: [email protected]


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